SOS - SCREAMING COMPUTER!

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I think you might need to define "screaming" a bit better to get better- quality help. But I'll take a shot at it anyway...
Most odd computer-noises are the fan bearings going bad. These will NOT show up if you spin the fan by hand, and they are often intermittent for the longest time. You have at least TWO fans: one on the CPU on the motherboard, and one inside the power supply at the back of the case.
My recommendation: Leave the side cover off the case. Next time you hear the noise, get a drinking straw or ballpoint pen and stick it slowly into either fan until the fan stops. No kidding. This will NOT harm the fan, as awful as it might sound when you're doing it. If the odd noise stops, that's the fan that's bad.
--
Tegger

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Very similar to what I told him...didn't do much good either.
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On Mon, 2 May 2011 15:32:45 -0700 (PDT), Higgs Boson

stops - use a small peice of hose (or a drinking straw) to your ear to locate exactly where the squeel is coming from. Then fix, or report.
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alt.comp.hardware
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On 5/1/2011 4:41 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

Before you spend money on a new motherboard, be advised that many Dells of your vintage used non-standard pinouts for the PS connection. Don't recall offhand if the Dimension was one of them. Not a slam on you, but given your lack of experience with computer innards, a motherboard swap is likely to be a long, expensive, and frustrating experience. Since we don't know where the screaming is coming from, it may or may not fix problem. I'd try unplugging the internal speaker (if it isn't hard-mounted to motherboard), and see if it makes a difference. But a screaming sound is usually made by a moving part, and your computer doesn't have many of those- drives and power supply fan.
My low-buck recommendation, based on my day job doing computer support, and my former side gig of rebuilding/reselling computers (before cheap new ones killed the market), is to look on CraigsList for a computer of similar brand and vintage. Don't pay over 100 bucks for it. You can move your hard drive over, as well as any components that are better than what new machine has (like video and memory, if the sockets match.)
For just a little more $, you can get a new Dell entry-level system online or from SamsClub or similar. I'm a cheap SOB, so I have never purchased a new computer, but I have assisted others, and they were all pleased with the performance of even entry-level new machines.
--
aem sends...

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It's probably had enough of living in a left wing radical's house and wants out.
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On Fri, 29 Apr 2011 19:39:53 -0700 (PDT), Higgs Boson

If the sound is coming from the speaker it is most likely overheat. You can reboot the computer and the bios will tell you what the overheat alarm is set to. It will also tell you the current temp. You should let the computer run for at least a min or two because it cools down pretty fast too.
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=my+computer+is+overheating
You can unplug the fan from the mobo and if that stops the screaming, you can replace the fan.
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On Fri, 29 Apr 2011 19:39:53 -0700 (PDT), Higgs Boson

If your computer guy upgraded the speed by putting in a faster CPU, it may be that he did not use any thermal compound between the heat sink and the chip. If he upgraded the memory, this would not cause overheating, but it could be bad memory. You can set the bios to check the memory on startup. It slows the boot down, but you only need to do it for one boot. Memory and CPU are about the only thing you can do to speed up the computer. Adding a graphics card will also add heat and power consumption.
How long has your computer been screaming? You would notice any problems with the CPU the first day.
Maybe the hard drive.
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